Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Brandon M. Scott joined the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and PCs for People at Gilmor Homes in West Baltimore to register residents for free internet services and provide computers at the HABC Resident Connect event.
Free internet services are available to eligible applicants through the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program created to help low-income households stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. HABC residents were able to sign up for free internet service through EBB with their choice of provider.
“Lack of access to technology for remote work, virtual learning, and telehealth continues to undermine the potential of our communities,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The pandemic may have exacerbated the digital divide. It is imperative that we remain laser-focused on ensuring that all City residents are connected to the internet and have access to a device. The HABC Resident Connect event is an example of the importance of public-private partnerships in Baltimore. It will take all of us to work to close the digital divide and deliver these crucial technology resources to Baltimoreans.”
Along with free internet service, PCs for People also distributed hundreds of free refurbished computers. In 2020, Baltimore City signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the nonprofit PCs for People allowing City agencies to donate retired computers and electronic equipment to local students and families in need, rather than sending this technology to the landfill.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development also awarded HABC $15,000 in grant funding to further lower the cost of devices for participating residents. “Thanks to Mayor Scott and PCs for People, we can now empower more members of our communities to connect with their schools, their friends and their extended families,” said Janet Abrahams, President of HABC. “This is a gesture toward equity and opportunity for these families and a better likelihood of upward mobility.”
HABC residents with questions about the Resident Connect event can contact HABC Program Assistant, Doris Johnson at 410-396-2967.
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